01:57:46 EDT Wed 07 Jun 2023
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Barrick Gold Corp
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Barrick enters deal to resume Porgera operations

2023-03-30 23:48 ET - News Release

Mr. Mark Bristow reports


The government of Papua New Guinea, Barrick Niugini Ltd. and New Porgera Ltd. have signed an agreement to progress with the resumption of operations at the Porgera gold mine, which have been suspended since 2020 (1).

Porgera hosts an orebody with measured and indicated resources of 10 million ounces (2) and inferred resources of 3.4 million ounces (2). After initial ramp-up and optimization of the Wangima pit, the mine is forecast to produce an average of 700,000 ounces per year, achieving a milestone toward its potential Tier 1 (3) status.

The New Porgera progress agreement (NPPA), signed today, confirms that all parties are committed to reopening the mine at the earliest opportunity, in line with the terms of the Porgera project commencement agreement and the New Porgera Ltd. shareholders agreement, both concluded in 2022. The New Porgera project team will move ahead with the filings for a special mining lease and progressing the other conditions set out in the commencement agreement for the reopening of the mine.

The equity in New Porgera is shared 51 per cent by Papua New Guinea (PNG) stakeholders, including local landowners and the Enga provincial government. Economic benefits will be shared 53 per cent by the PNG stakeholders and 47 per cent by Barrick Niugini, which will operate the mine.

After the signing ceremony, Barrick Gold Corp. president and chief executive Mark Bristow said there was strong support from all stakeholders to get Porgera reopened as soon as possible.

"It's been a long journey, but in the process we have secured the buy-in of all the stakeholders. For Barrick, the reopening of the mine would represent another victory for our host-country partnership model, which has been so successful in Tanzania and has now also been adopted for the new Reko Diq copper-gold project in Pakistan," Mr. Bristow said.

"Localization is an essential part of our partnership philosophy, so New Porgera will, whenever possible, source the goods and services it requires from businesses genuinely based and owned in Porgera, the Enga province and Papua New Guinea. Similarly, it will give preference to locals in recruiting employees for the reopening mine."

Technical information

The scientific and technical information contained in this press release has been reviewed and approved by Chad Yuhasz, PGeo, mineral resource manager, Latin America and Asia Pacific, and Simon Bottoms, CGeol, MGeol, FGS, FAusIMM, mineral resource management and evaluation executive -- each a qualified person as defined in National Instrument 43-101 (Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects).


(1) Porgera was placed on temporary care and maintenance on April 25, 2020, and remains excluded from its 2023 guidance. It expects to update its guidance to include Porgera following both the execution of definitive agreements to implement the commencement agreement and the finalization of a timeline for the resumption of full mine operations.

(2) On a 100-per-cent basis. Estimated in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 (Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects) as required by Canadian securities regulatory authorities as of Dec. 31, 2022. Measured resources of 5.6 million tonnes grading 5.55 grams per tonne, representing 1.0 million ounces of gold. Indicated resources of 79.0 million tonnes grading 3.62 g/t, representing 9.2 million ounces of gold. Inferred resources of 33.0 million tonnes grading 3.2 g/t, representing 3.4 million ounces of gold. Complete attributable mineral reserve and mineral resource data for all of Barrick's mines and projects, including tonnes, grades and ounces, can be found in the mineral reserves and mineral resources tables provided on pages 37 to 46 of Barrick's 2022 annual information form and Form 40-F filed on SEDAR and on EDGAR.

(3) On a 100-per-cent basis. A Tier 1 gold asset is an asset with a reserve potential to deliver a minimum 10-year life, annual production of at least 500,000 ounces of gold and total cash costs per ounce over the mine life that are in the lower half of the industry cost curve.

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